Today, the Beta version of the D&D Insider Character Generator became available to subscribers (and possibly some non-subscribers who signed up to beta test.) At GenCon, we were given a preview of the Character Generator alongside several of the other applications, but we didn’t get a chance to use it hands-on. Today, however, I went through and inputted the character I’m currently playing to test it out, and it all went very smoothly… with one exception.
Installation takes a while, especially on the step to update the .net framework to its current version- a period of about 15 minutes where there’s no indication that anything is happening. A reboot is required, but other than those two things, it went pretty smoothly.
Launching the app takes a little bit, which I’m presuming is when it connects to the Internet to get current data. I expected to have to sign-in to my D&D Insider account, but that did not happen at any step.
For the purposes of the test, I began inputting my Eladrin Wizard/Warlock (who I based on a certain popular character.) The first step was to choose my race. The selection includes all the PHB races, monster manual races (with some replaced with their Dragon updates), and Forgotten Realm races.
After pushing “Choose Race” and then pressing “Next Step”, I was on to choosing my class. This is how most of the generator works: selecting by pressing the “choose” button, then the “Next Step” button lights up when done, and takes me along to whatever I need next.
I select Wizard, and then I am presented with class-specific choices: in this case, which Implement to use. I pick Wand, and move on. (You can also choose a quick build.)
Next is the Background Choice, which applies if you’re in Forgotten Realms or Scales of War. I am neither, so I move past this optional step.
Next comes ability score choices. All the standard options you’d want are there, except for adjusting the amount of points you start with (in case you have an overly friendly or mean DM.)
Training Skills is next. I select my skills, and it reminds me to train my bonus skill for being Eladrin.
Next step is choosing feats, which automatically displays the ones I qualify for. I select “Pact Initiate” for my multiclass warlock. After selecting it, I then am taken back to the class menu to select my choice of Pacts (Fey) and then my choice of free skills (Theivery.) The “Next Step” button takes me to each of these choices in turn, and then back on track.
Power choice comes next, walking me through each selection of at-will, encounter, and daily powers (including selecting an extra daily for being a Wizard.)
The equipment list tells you what items you can use, and it lets you add any items without spending money. Turning on “shopping mode” manages your gold, and tells you what you can and cannot afford.
As a wizard, I have my choice of rituals. Since the program includes data from Adventurer’s Vault, alchemical rituals are there as well.
All the details filled in, I can save my character, and look at the character sheet.
The character sheet has all the details you’d want. The best part, however, are the power cards that have all the details filled in for you, including Second Wind and Action Point usage. I was then able to print it to my Adobe PDF maker. It took me a few tries to realize that each page pops up with a separate print dialogue, which means I had to name each a different file and then combine them in Acrobat. Not a big deal for me, but it would be nice when printing to not have to confirm it for each page.
The resulting sheet is here: Istarya’s Character Sheet
But wait! I’ve been playing in Bartoneus’s campaign since June, and Istarya is now level 4. He also has some magic items that he’s gained on his journey. So let’s level him up.
Ah, damn, the Beta version only supports up to Level 3. That’s annoying. I still make him Level 3 and add his items. Leveling is easy: it tells you what needs to be done, and walks you through it.
Here’s the final product: Istarya Level 3
As you can see, my magic items’ daily powers have been added to the power card list.
And that’s the character generator. It’ll be a boon for those just starting out, but as someone involved in an ongoing campaign, it’s not as useful as I was hoping right off the bat. Still, I already have high hopes for it, and I’m already more impressed with it than I was with e-tools.